Research in medical education includes a number of studies that describe the complexities (Tierney et al., 2013; Gagon et al., 2009; Pippitt, Stevenson, & Samuelson, 2013), benefits (Milano et al., 2014; Hammoud et al., 2012; Silverman et al., 2014), and limitations (Peled, Sagher, Morrow, & Dobbie, 2009; Wald, George, Reis, & Taylor, 2014; Pelletier, 2016) of helping medical students understand and achieve fluency with electronic medical records (EMRs). In addition, studies in the rhetoric of health and medicine (RHM) have been calling to attention the effectiveness of rhetorical studies within medical contexts (Scott, Segal, & Keranen, 2013; Segal, 2005; Rausch, 2016; Fountain, 2014; Melocon and Frost, 2015; Graham and Herndl, 2014). However, there is not a unified idea of the best way to teach EMR fluency, nor is there any research that studies and analyzes the perceptions of students in their undergraduate medical education, including their pre-clerkship years. This thesis investigates students' perceptions of their medical education at the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine (UCF COM), specifically how 76 students who participated in surveys and focus group interviews perceive and engage with their education and ideas of EMR application and fluency. It also compares their perceptions with the goals of the module directors who designed the curriculum. In its analysis, this thesis employs classical and contemporary scholarship about stasis theory (Crowley and Hawhee, 2012; Fahnestock and Secor, 1988) to identify points of congruence and dissonance between students and module directors, as well as across cohorts of students in their first, second, and third years. Through data analysis, I found key points of congruence and dissonance between the perceptions and experiences of students and goals of module directors. I also identified key factors affecting both groups, such as the time constraints of the curriculum and the fact that hospitals use different EMR systems. The results of this study demonstrate the complexities of medical education and EMR education for both students and module directors. By understanding how rhetoric can be more beneficial to other fields, such as medical education, this study can help those creating curricula better reach outcomes that both students and licensing boards will appreciate. That said, more research needs to be conducted to understand how regulated medical education creates these points of contention between future physician curriculum designers.

Graduation Date





Scott, Blake


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities


Writing and Rhetoric

Degree Program

English; Rhetoric and Composition Track









Release Date

August 2017

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)